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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview

April 2009 Edition

In This Issue:

Welcome Message

Welcome to the April 2009 edition of the Innovation e-Review newsletter.

This month’s feature article, “Owning the Record – Whose e-Document is it Anyway”, by Stephen M. Goodman, a partner at Pryor Cashman LLP, elucidates the rationale behind several pivotal cases related to trade secret law and offers some practical suggestions on how to safeguard the value of your business by protecting your confidential business information.

This edition also highlights e2e Materials, a clean technology company based in Ithaca, NY that makes petroleum-free, biodegradable composites from annually renewable resources, such as soy proteins and natural fibers. Their composites also offer the benefits of being stronger, lighter and cheaper than those found in landfills today.

The STLC’s series of podcasts continues on April 30th, with George McGuire’s presentation on New Developments in Patent Law, and soon after, on May 12th, Lisa Dolak will present on Establishing First-to-Invent & Electronic Lab Notebooks. Click here for registration information.

Finally, the eighth annual Smart Start Venture Forum will be held May 19th and 20th in Albany. This venture forum, sponsored by NYSTAR and NYS STLC among others, highlights new high-quality companies throughout New York, providing a good opportunity for VC firms and others to see the best the State has to offer.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments. Please feel free to contact us at nysstlc@law.syr.edu. Thank you.


Feature Article: Owning the Record - Whose e-Document is It Anyway?

by Stephen M. Goodman

Reprinted with permission from Pryor Cashman LLP and Bloomberg Corporate Law Journal

Every successful business owner worries that the departure of a key employee may mean that critical business information is also walking out the door. Controlling confidential business information is part of building the value of a business, and losing control of that information can threaten that value.

In the past, when the information was only in paper form and making physical copies of documents was more challenging, it was easier for employers to keep the documents from being read by people outside the company. However, controlling the information has become much more difficult now that electronic media have become the primary means for creating and storing information and employers have made e-mail and electronic document systems available to all employees.  More...


Intellectual Property News: Supreme Court May Consider a New Defense to Patent Infringement

by Erin Lawless

The United States Supreme Court is being asked to expand the defenses available to defendants in a patent infringement suit on a petition for certiorari from the District Court case IGT v. Aristocrat Tech.

In this case, the gaming company IGT allegedly infringed two of Aristocrat Tech’s slot machine patents; however, Aristocrat Tech missed the filing deadline for the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (“PTO”) and therefore unintentionally abandoned its slot machine patent.  More...


Intellectual Property News: Patent Reform Legislation: Compromise Approved

by Melissa Dobson

On April 2, 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a modified version of Patent Reform Bill, S. 515, with a sharply curtailed damages provision. The revised Patent Reform Act of 2009, passed on a vote of 15 to 4, allows for trial judges to limit the evidence that can be introduced and for damages calculation factors to be presented in the jury instructions. The bill eliminates any attempt to define an “essence of the invention”, without mention of limiting or eliminating the “entire market value” rule or applying “prior art subtraction” before determining a royalty base.  More...


Intellectual Property News: Gene Sequence Patent Attempt Fails Based on ‘Obvious to Try’ Standard

by Melissa Dobson

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently discredited its In re Deuel precedent by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on obviousness in KSR (See KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 127 S. Ct. 1727, 82 USPQ2d 1385 (2007)). The Court of Appeals held that “well-known cloning techniques” could derive the “readily knowable and obtainable structure of an identified protein” coded by that gene (In re Kubin, Fed. Cir., No. 2008-1184, 4/3/09).   More...

Company Spotlight: e2e Materials

by Melissa Dobson

e2e Materials is a clean technology company in Ithaca, New York that produces petroleum-free, biodegradable composites that are stronger, lighter and cheaper than the composites filling landfills today. e2e’s proprietary composite material platform can be tuned to achieve a range of strength properties reaching into midrange steels delivering tremendous strength-to-weight ratios. These biodegradable materials are made from annually renewable resources, including soy proteins and natural fibers, such as jute, flax and kenaf. The composites contain no formaldehyde, petrochemicals or toxins and are inherently flame retardant.  More...


Industry News: Saving on Patents: When Trade Secret Law Merits The Risk

by Erin Lawless

Everyone knows the economy is not at its best, but few know about the newest money-saving trick in patent law – to protect with trade secrets that which patents would usually be used to protect. The good news is that trade secrets are much cheaper than the traditional patent protections; however, they may come with greater risk.  More...


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